Major Asset Classes | April 2018 | Performance Review

Commodities bounced back in April, topping the performance list for the major asset classes. Rebounding after two straight monthly declines, a broad measure of raw materials jumped 2.6%, based on the Bloomberg Commodity Index.

Overall, market returns were mixed in April. Foreign stocks in the developed markets, along with property shares generally, enjoyed solid gains last month. Fixed-income, by contrast, was broadly lower in the US and abroad.

The biggest loser last month: foreign government inflation-indexed bonds (in unhedged US dollar terms). The Citi World Inflation-Linked Securities ex-US Index fell a hefty 3.3% in April – the benchmark’s biggest monthly decline in well over a year.

US stocks generated a middling performance last month compared with the rest of the field. The Russell 3000 Index edged higher by 0.4% — the benchmark’s first monthly gain since January. US bonds, by contrast, slipped into the red. The Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond Index fell 0.7% in April and for year so far is down 2.2%.

The Global Market Index (GMI), an unmanaged benchmark that holds all the major asset classes in market-value weights, clawed back into positive terrain last month. The benchmark’s 0.2% total return for April marks the first monthly advance since January. Year to date, however, GMI is in the red with a fractional 0.1% decline.